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2015 Editions (January-June)

2015/1.2, January 21 — Laminar Illusion, Cracked Shells, Frog’s Delight and more

January 21, 2015


Overbearing Rockwork

A swimming pool is made of steel-reinforced concrete, right? So the shell will be fine if you pile lots of weight on top of it, right? Wrong, Scott Cohen says emphatically — and here he explains why no sensible builder should ever make such a potentially disastrous mistake. [more]


Froggy Paradise

When a frog pond is complete and its new occupants have been carefully introduced to the water, Eric Triplett feels pride in what he’s accomplished — and, as this video relates, leaves the homeowners with detailed instructions on how to care for their emerging ecosystem. [more]


Gliding Step by Step

It’s really a cool fountain that turns a long escalator ride into a pleasure, writes Jim McCloskey. But what makes it even better is the unbounded enthusiasm of the gent who shot a wondrous video of the scene as he rode between the levels of Chicago’s Water Tower Place. [more]


Healthful Waters

When fountain designer/engineer Aviram Müller considers a future he believes will be dominated by environmental consciousness, he’s elated to contemplate the role watershapers will play in efficiently using water and energy in architectural and landscape settings. It’s a delight he shares here by outlining a new reality in which watershapes are seamlessly integrated into built environments where conservation is a driving, necessary priority.

This article, originally published in October 2009, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study his thought processes in detail.


Expansive Tendencies

Paolo Benedetti often provides his clients’ watershapes with unusual custom details — a practice that’s led him to develop numerous ways to get these jobs done without making aesthetic sacrifices. Here, for example, he works magic in hiding isolation and crack-control joints. [more]


Really Creepy Dept.:
Male U.S. senators bar female senators from a pool so they can do what? [more]

It’s worse than a towel-snapping party, believe me.

Visions of Beauty: Winter weather creates a feast of frozen fountains — often in unexpected places. [more]
It’s not fun being cold, but this is some compensation.


The Company You Keep

Ten year ago, Brian Van Bower wrote eloquently about what it took (and still takes) to navigate the toughest cluster of decisions many business owners ever have to make. [more]


Swimming in It

A recent Purdue study indicates that all sorts of personal-care products and pharmaceuticals manage to find their ways into swimming pool water — information that makes Jim McCloskey glad he installed one of these in his backyard many summers ago. [more]


Hayward Unveils the HydroRite UVO3 Disinfecting System

Hayward Pool Products
(Elizabeth, NJ) has introduced HydroRite UVO3, an NSF-certified supplemental disinfectant system. Designed for both commercial and residential applications, the all-in-one UV/ozone units inactivate more than 99.9 percent of harmful chlorine-resistant microorganisms while also reducing chlorine consumption. For details, click here.

Transparent Polymer Fencing from Clear Fence Solutions

Clear Fence Solutions (Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada) offers see-through fencing for installation on decks and around swimming pools. Designed with safety, aesthetics and affordability in mind, the modular system features a lightweight, transparent, impact-resistant polymer formulation mounted using a swivel system to achieve any desired angle. For details, click here.



Which Oscar-Nominated Movie
Left Out the Swimming Angle?

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late — including reports connected to the three questions below.

1. Which 2015 Oscar-contending movie (with five nominations in all) has been criticized for leaving out the important role competitive swimming played in the real-life story? (Source:

a. “Foxcatcher” b. “American Sniper”
c. “The Imitation Game” d. “The Theory of Everything”

2. An online Speedo video ad features an elderly, retired gentleman — Jurgen Schmidt of Huntington Beach, Calif. — swimming laps in a local pool. Masters-level swimming has been a big part of his daily regimen for decades. How old, according to, will Schmidt be on his birthday in February 2015?

a. 72 b. 82 c. 92 d. 102.

3. A community pool in East Vancouver, B.C., is holding special swim sessions for a specific segment of the population (although everyone may participate). According to, what segment is East Vancouver trying to make feel welcome?

a. Transgender individuals b. Moslem women
c. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women d. Blind people.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

2015/1.1, January 7 — Variable-Speed Savings, Interactive Artistry, Pond Edging and more

January 7, 2015


All Aboard!

When Denver decided to revive a historic downtown neighborhood by bringing its old train station back to life, Karen Van Heukelem and her colleagues at Colorado Hardscapes pitched in on several levels — then crowned their efforts with a dazzling interactive waterfeature. [more]


Edgy Activity

Setting the edges is always his favorite part of the pond-installation process, notes Eric Triplett. But as he demonstrates in this video, there are variations to his usual patterns that come into play when the pond he’s installing is intended for use by frogs. [more]


Pumped-Up Savings

Now that variable-frequency drives for swimming pool pumps have been around for a while, says Mike Fowler, watershapers and their clients have started to notice that the savings can materialize in unanticipated ways. Here’s a look inside the technology’s ’emerging’ benefits. [more]


Green Verges

Famous for its beautiful bays and fabulous oceanfront vistas, New York’s Long Island is also prized for its pristine inland waterways and wetlands of both the fresh- and saltwater varieties. Working around these bodies of water, says landscape architect and longtime Long Island resident Timothy Rumph, requires familiarity with a number of different agencies as well as a clear understanding of myriad rules governing what is (and isn’t) possible.

This article, originally published in October 2009, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


Garden Grandeur

Recognized as one of the world’s greatest horticultural achievements, Longwood Gardens is a dazzling showcase for plants, trees, architecture, garden spaces and watershapes. It’s well worth a visit, reports Robert Nonemaker, at just about any time of year. [more]


Transit Trends:
Singapore Airport adding an indoor rainforest and a huge waterfall. [more]

Great, but is it enough to make traveling fun again?

Good News Dept.: Ohio aquatics center tracks rise in participation in swim programs. [more]
Getting kids off the couch and into the pool


Deficits of Trust

In his first AquaCulture column of 2010, Brian Van Bower made personal declarations about the value of trust — and invited fellow watershapers to consider ways of building it for themselves and their clients.


In with the New?

In the course of his working life, writes Jim McCloskey, reflecting and planning are typically ongoing processes. As a result, the arrival of a New Year is less a turning point than it is a chance to announce a whole range of new features you’ll see in the months to come. [more]


US Silica Introduces MysticBlue Pool Filter Sand

US Silica
(Frederick, MD) has announced the availability of MysticBlue, a pool-filter sand in which silica particles are treated with an antimicrobial coating that protects the sand’s surface; prevents microbial growth in the filter bed; and inhibits the growth of algae, fungi and bacteria while providing superior filtration. The result is cleaner, clearer water. For details, click here.

Crystal Fountains Releases 2015 Catalog

Crystal Fountains (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has published its “Fountain Idea Book” for 2015. The 262-page, full-color catalog outlines the company’s capabilities and services – a fully illustrated overview followed by details on its lines of programmable sequencing nozzles, laminar and leaping jets, deck jets, fountain nozzles, lighting systems and more. For details, click here.



Celeb Tweet: ‘If Swimming Is Great
Exercise, Explain Whales to Me’

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late — including reports connected to the three questions below.

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

1. One well-known funnyman recently tweeted the message above, garnering a fair amount of attention on the Internet. Apparently, his irreverent, barbed tweet — although clearly misguided scientifically — is just one version of a very old joke. Who was the twisted Twitter tweeter?

a. Steve Martin b. Bill Murray c. Jonah Hill d. Woody Allen.

2. For the first time ever, the 2015 induction ceremony for new honorees in the International Swimming Hall of Fame won’t take place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to Instead, it will be held in the city slated to house ISHOF’s new headquarters. Which city is that?

a. Santa Barbara, Calif. b. Santa Clara, Calif.
c. Phoenix, Ariz. d. Las Vegas, Nev.

3. Last month, American Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps appeared in a Baltimore, Maryland, courtroom and pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol — the result of a Sept. 30 drunk-driving arrest. It was the second such arrest for the 29-year-old Phelps. According to, what sentence did he receive for this latest driving infraction?

a. 12 months of supervised probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence
b. 18 months of supervised probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence
c. 18 months of supervised probation and a two-year suspended jail sentence
d. 160 hours of community service work.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

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